Exclusive: Abby Anderson Recalls Early Importance of Piano Lessons

Exclusive

Exclusive: Abby Anderson Recalls Early Importance of Piano Lessons

Thomas Rhett's Wife, Lauren Akins, Boasts About Willa Gray's Big Sister Role

Thomas Rhett's wife, Lauren Akins, always imagined adoption would be at least part of how she grew her family someday. Her mother, Lisa Gregory, was adopted, so Akins assumed she would adopt a child as well someday.

But perhaps surprisingly, it was Rhett, not Akins, who first suggested adopting their now two-year-old, Willa Gray, from an orphanage in Uganda.

“I love that it started with him,” Akins tells Southern Living (quote via CMT), “because so much of me wanting to adopt, I always felt like it was more me, but he just jumped right on the train and never looked back.”

Akins still relied on her mother for plenty of support, now that she is the parent of both Willa Gray and eight-month-old Ada James.

"My mom was always that mom that just kind of mothered everyone and was so good at it and so much fun, always making us laugh or doing something crazy – and I just remember thinking, "I can't ever imagine me being a mom," Akins says.

"I cannot tell you how many people have come up to me and just seen me, even without my kids, and they're like, 'Whoa, you look just like your mom!' And I'll say something, they're like, 'Whoa, you sound just like your mom!' And so, I feel like more so since I've had kids, people have told me that, and I just think that's like the best compliment anyone could ever give me, because...I can't ever imagine being that good, or that kind of a mom."

Akins also gets help from Willa Gray, who is already quite the big sister for Ada James.

“She tells me if something is ever wrong with the baby,” Akins boasts. “She wants everything to be perfect with the baby. She’s always wanting to help her. Even at two, she’s already so protective and sweet. She just takes care of her.

“They work so well together," she continues. "If the baby is ever crying, and we can’t figure out how to fix it or make her calm down a little bit, my first line of help is always ‘Where is Willa Gray?!’”

Akins also gets plenty of help from Rhett, who is equally smitten with his two daughters.

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“I’ve written a couple of songs that just talk about the severe shock of knowing that you’re adopting a child and then you find out that you’re pregnant," Rhett says. "So I definitely can see myself in the near future just pretty much only writing about my children. It’ll be fun to see; see how they act and see what kind of inspiration I can get from them.”

Rhett's family will undoubtedly join him for at least part of his Life Changes Tour, which kicks off on April 19 in Augusta, Ga. Dates can be found on his website.